When you are looking for an escapist weekend away in Rome, you can’t do much better than the St. Regis Rome, the Eternal City’s first luxury hotel. My friend and occasional contributor to this blog, Dianna, is a big fan of the St. Regis brand. The St. Regis Rome was a natural choice for us when we decided to meet for a weekend in Rome.
The St. Regis Rome
The St Regis Rome is an elegant combination of luxury, impeccable service and exalted history.
The St. Regis started of as the Grand Hotel and was established by Swiss luxury hotelier, Cesar Ritz. Yes, that Cesar Ritz who also established the Hotel Ritz in Paris, among other fancy establishments and, in doing so, contributed to the creation the the word ‘ritzy’ in the English language.
At the opening part of the St. Regis Rome, you had the King of Italy, the King of Germany and the Pope attending. Cesar Ritz had quite the little black book of party guests on his roster.
In later years, the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, took up residence from 1934-1941. Poor Alfonso XIII had left Spain when the Spanish had declared itself a republic. Of course, the St. Regis Rome wasn’t a bad place for the exiled king to mope over the unfairness of life.
Although I prefer staying in contemporary hotels, I appreciate the beauty of historic hotels. In the end of the day, I’m an equal opportunity luxury partaker.
Christmas at the St. Regis Rome
We were at the St. Regis Rome over Christmas and so the newly renovated lobby was sparkling with decorations.
The Bloody Mary Tradition
The signature drink of the St. Regis hotels is the Bloody Mary. A bartender at the St. Regis New York invented this cocktail in 1934. He called it the Red Snapper but I prefer the new name. No one really knows where the new name came from. Although the Bloody Mary is popular as a hangover drink, Dianna and I prefer the cocktails as pre-and-post hangover drink.
Each St. Regis hotel has a variation on the Bloody Mary which reflects local tastes. The Bloody Mary’s were at the St. Regis Rome were indeed glorious but I should not have ordered the extra-hot because it was way too hot for me.
The Couture Suite
Noted interiors firm, HBA London, injected both elements of fashion and red into the Couture Suite they created for the St. Regis Rome. If you look at the renovated Alfonso XIII Hotel in Seville done by the same designers, HBA do have a fondness for using red in their interiors.
The Couture Suite references Roman designer Valentino, as the inspiration. Valentino opened his first couture house on the fashionable Via Condotti in Rome in 1959. His signature shade of intense red, became known as Valentino Red in the fashion industry.
The Couture Suite is 3 bedrooms and a living room. All three bedrooms feature variations of a photograph of red smoke. The flowing red smoke alludes to both Valentino red and the sheer, sinuous quality of voile which is often used in dress making.
The walls, lined in neutral linen, provide a backdrop for the luxurious materials used in the rest of the rooms, such as Italian leather, intricate embroidery and nail-head trim panelling.
The television rests on an easel which subtly blends it into the rest of the room’s decor. At first glance, I didn’t even realise the easel held a television!
The suite is decorated with historical photographs of famous people who have stayed at the St. Regis Rome, including red-hot lovers, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
Like the Valentino brand, the Couture Suite at the St. Regis Rome is glamorous and classically elegant.
All the St. Regis Couture Suite photos are by Eric Laignel.
The St. Regis Rome Renovations
The St. Regis Rome is undergoing major renovations which were expected to last through the end of 2017. When we were there in December 2017, they still hadn’t been finished. On the other hand, the location can’t be beat and you can get great deals while the renovation is underway.
My friend and I spent a lot of time catching up because we have both been to Rome many times before. Fellow blogger, Suzanne provides a comprehensive guide to visiting Rome and tips for visiting Rome on her website.
The St Regis Rome is a member of the Starwood Hotels Group. We all know I love the Starwood hotels and their points system. Including the over the top suites, the hotel has 161 guest rooms and all the service and amenities you would expect from a hotel of this calibre.
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